Safe Place Research

Safe Place is committed to advancing our understanding of child maltreatment, its consequences, prevention and the health policy implications of children in the child protection system. The Safe Place Program has a long and distinguished tradition of research that has positioned CHOP as a longstanding leader in child maltreatment research. 

The mission of the Safe Place Research Program is to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families by advancing the science of equitable child maltreatment prevention, identification, and treatment.

Over the years, and funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Justice, PEW Charitable Trust, Oscar Mayer Foundation, Verizon Foundation, Kohl’s Foundation and other federal funding agencies and many other foundations, Safe Place faculty conducts research through several centers within the CHOP Research Institute and other research programs at Penn and the Philadelphia area. Strong relationships within the Division of General Pediatrics have fostered collaborations with CHOP’s PolicyLab, Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, Center for Violence Prevention, and the Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics.

Meet our team

Safe Place research staff

  • Teniola Egbe, MPH
  • Emily DePaul, MPH, MA
  • Jenna Kiely, MS
  • Solrubi Cortes, MS
  • Leigh Wilson, MSW

Research areas

Research within the Safe Place Program spans the spectrum from child maltreatment prevention to identification, evaluation, diagnosis and management.  Safe Place faculty continue to refine our diagnostic capabilities through emerging technology and testing strategies to improve detection of abuse.  And, in the hope of preventing maltreatment, our faculty have been working on interventions to improve the parent-child relationship and interaction (PriCARE) with growing evidence of its effectiveness in reducing harsh parenting.  Efforts to address social needs can be an effective prevention strategy and an opportunity to improve health equity- our faculty are at the center of this work at CHOP.   Research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in several Centers of Emphasis within the CHOP Research institute include: PolicyLab, CPCE (embed link to CPCE Website), Center for Violence Prevention, along with the Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics.   Collaborators from other centers across the United States provide the ability have high impact in addressing today’s research questions.  This includes the multi-center child abuse research network called CAPNET.

Improving Child Abuse Care and Outcomes Through Multi-Center Research: CAPNET

The Child Abuse Pediatrics Network (CAPNET) was established to facilitate robust, multi-center research in the area of child physical abuse.  CAPNET currently has nine participating centers and utilizes a common data collection form with uniform definitions to codify all consultations for concern of child physical abuse at each of the participating sites.

Listed below are some highlights of our research collaborations.


PolicyLab informs program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research to improve children's well-being. This is accomplished by transforming “evidence to action” through responding to community needs relevant to policy priorities.

Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness

The Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness (CPCE) promotes research on how to best manage pediatric illnesses, disseminates knowledge gained from this research, and implements best practices to improve the quality of care delivered to children in the CHOP Care Network.

Center for Violence Prevention

The Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) is dedicated to advancing efforts to reduce the exposure to and impact of violence among children, teens, and families through community-focused research, and innovative, evidence-based programs that are implemented, disseminated, and sustained across clinical, school and neighborhood settings. The work is trauma-informed and rooted in racial equity and social justice.

Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics

The mission of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics is to deliver high quality care (safe, effective, efficient, patient centered) while promoting responsible stewardship of our resources and engagement of our staff.  Within CHQA, the Center of Health Equity provides expertise to ensure that all patients have the opportunity to receive high quality care by providing consultative support for health equity-focused quality improvement initiatives and fostering a culture of health equity across the quality improvement continuum.

Pilot Grant Program

The purpose of this program is to promote and support CHOP investigators in conducting health services pilot research studies in the area of child maltreatment. Selected proposals will be supported for up to a maximum of $6,000 for one year. Projects should be able to be completed within one year. Projects designed to investigate disparities and/or improve equity of child maltreatment prevention, treatment  or outcomes are especially encouraged.

The Safe Place Pilot Grant Program provides trainees and other young investigators at CHOP in the area of child maltreatment with experience developing a structured grant proposal and provide an opportunity to obtain funding to support their research.  Young investigators, including trainees and instructors without federal funding, are eligible to apply for the annual $6,000 award.  Funds may be used for data collection, participant incentives, transcription of interviews, student research assistants and other research activities but not for investigator time or travel.  Applicants must include a statement on how the proposed research will advance health disparities research in child abuse pediatrics.  Proposals will each be reviewed and scored by two reviewers on the Pilot Grant Review committee comprised of faculty researchers in Safe Place and collaborating faculty from other disciplines.  Every applicant will receive written comments regardless of whether their proposal is chosen for the award.

Priority will be given to proposals for projects with potential to lead to external funding and proposals addressing health disparities in the field.

Key Dates

Application Deadline: Friday, December 3, 2021
Grant Start Date: Saturday, January 1, 2022

For more information about the pilot grant please see the information sheet. For more information about Safe Place please see the home page

Contact Dr. Joanne Wood at with any questions about the Safe Place Pilot Grant Program, eligibility, or the application and submission process.